I’ll get some stick for writing this but last time I checked I was allowed to share my opinion so here goes!
I’m getting fed up with the loud minority in the Recovery World who continue to force their archaic views on others recovering from alcohol and drug dependency. I see it every day on social media where I spend a fair chunk of my time sharing Happy Daddy’s story.
The minority in question are from the Alcoholics Anonymous crowd and tend to be what I would describe as old timers with a number of years or decades under their belt. They become very defensive if you ask questions about AA that could be seen as ‘challenging‘ such as the religious aspect, sponsors, the steps, etc.
I have no axe to grind with AA and as I’ve said previously, I attended meetings and purchased the Big Book earlier in my Sobriety but around the same time I explored Rational Recovery (AVRT) too and it was this approach to abstinence that appealed more to me. I know people who have used / are still members of AA and they are good people with a very pragmatic view, like mine to sobriety.
What I struggle with is the ignorance towards anybody who dares to ask questions or share a path that isn’t the same as their own. These are probably the same people who like to argue about politics, sport and music so I won’t blame the game (in this case AA) – I’ll blame the player!
Every time I’ve written a Blog post which refers to AA in the title you can guarantee I’ll get some negative responses from old timers who take exception to me writing about AA ‘when I’m not a member’. Some recent stuff includes;
“Why are you even writing about AA when you’ve chosen a different programme?” (The Blog post in question was giving the reader the difference between AA & AVRT not dismissing one)
“The only reason AA didn’t work for you is because you didn’t work the 12-Steps” (I’ve never said AA doesn’t work, I just found something different that works for me)
It tends to follow this repetitive theme along with the odd insult or abuse (but that’s just social media in general I suppose!) and it’s not something that really bothers me. As I said at the start of this post, it’s a minority but they have the platform as I do and they have the right to speak to me whether its nice or not. I have a block button I guess!
I’m currently reading Jack Trimpey’s pre-cursor to his successful book Rational Recovery and he doesn’t really help the cause either. The Small Book goes along way to aggravating the AA World by dissecting and pulling apart the twelve steps and other passages of writing that have been published from the organisation. He’s somebody who clearly didn’t have a good experience with AA and that lead him to setting up Rational Recovery in America but the constant swipes at AA isn’t important to me as a reader and I find it annoying. He throws in regular caveats that he has no ill feelings towards AA and it has worked for people but this tends to be after several pages of anti-AA.
My stance is pretty simple. Find what works for you and if you remain sober you are in control of the next important part – learning to love yourself and living your best life. There are clearly a lot of people out there (I’ve described some in this Blog post) who might be sober but they aren’t particularly happy or pleasant with others. I have AVRT to use as a tool when I need it to stay off the alcohol but I put a lot of time into ME too and that’s goes beyond my relationship with alcohol. I may have existed for alcohol in the past but I won’t exist solely as an abstainer. It’s just a small part of me.